A Spectacular, in-depth review of Sucker Literary, Volume III

Take a look at this latest review of volume III and you will see that we are the best in short YA fiction.  Sidebar—if you are reading this, Christina, who is the reviewer, please submit to us on March 16th, 2015. Personal invitation. Your writing is crisp and clear and delightful. y have 24 hours to submit. March 16th, 2015, 12 am through 11:59 pm.

banner-sucker-literature-iii

Below, just a sample of this review, which goes through each and every story:

“The H8TE” by Lilliam Rivera

Sixteen-year old Sarah prepares for her first day of school by chaining up her Mamí in her bedroom.

Chills. CHILLS. This is gritty, dark, dangerous. It is matches and switchblades and things gone wrong. Everything gone wrong, in fact. And it’s a knockout story for sure. A virus known as “the H8TE” has been spreading in Sarah’s region, infecting people and turning them into feral shadows of their former selves. And Sarah’s mother has it and is slowly crumbling before her eyes. The desperation and grief wrapped up in this is achingly human and universal despite the obvious science-fiction element. It’s full of panic, blind white panic that left me shaken. This story plummeted and soared in zigzags that made me heartsick and hopeful. It was spellbinding in a razor-sharp, tragic, brutal way. There was nothing it barred from me, nothing it avoided colliding with. This story fell apart in front of me and I loved it.

READ MORE HERE!

 

A Word From Hannah: Volume 4?

I’m going to make this short and sweet.

My life is BUSY! Added to general mothering, wifeing, coaching, and writing, I’ve also been dealing with some health issues over the last 6 weeks.

As I begin to get back to life, so-to-speak, I feel that I owe it to the many writers who have been contacting us regarding volume 4 submissions.

Drum roll, please. . .

Submissions for volume 4 will open on March 16th and stay open for 24 hours only, Eastern Standard Time.

Good news is. . . you have plenty of time to revise, rewrite, and compose. However, you only have 24 hours to submit. March 16th, 2015, 12 am through 11:59 pm.

We will not be mentoring this time at all, so make your work sparkle ten times over.

I would love to see some LGBTQ stories, especially looking for the “questioning” and also transgender. In terms of fantasy, dystopian, contemporary—anything goes. I also love a really great friendship story—regardless of gender or sexuality. If you want to submit historical fiction (my least favorite genre, sorry) make it really believeable—consider language and technology.

As always, our submission guidelines apply and any submissions that do not comply, will be deleted. Go here and follow every single direction, please : )

6 Questions With Lina Branter, Author of Her Tree Boy Blaze

1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your forthcoming story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

Me-Hi Ainsley! I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but your long time crush is a total asshat and has posted a picture of you naked on the internet and now the whole school hates  you and his psycho ex-girlfriend wants to kill you.

Ainsley- Click. Dial tone. (She ran away).

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

Someone with the acting ability of a Hailee Steinfeld or Jennifer Lawrence but with bigger, redder hair. Oh yeah. I guess Hollywood could take care of that…

 3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

This is a terrifying question. Shame on you. I think Libba Bray because I love how she is always exploring different genres. I mean first a trilogy about a 19th century London boarding school then a book about a boy dying of mad cow disease and then a Mel Brooksian story about beauty queens stranded on a deserted island (or is it?) and then her new one which I haven’t read yet but seems just as awesome? That woman is my hero. And also, I refuse to apologize for my run-on sentences.

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

I mostly write at 5 in the morning. But I guess that’s not really weird, just necessary.

 5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

This is so easy it is almost embarrassing. Except I can’t remember her name, which is really embarrassing. You know, the weirdo- the one who eats a cornflake sugar sandwich and who makes dandruff art. The one played by Ally Sheedy… Wait! I have Google! Give me a minute…Allison Reynolds! Actually, do they ever refer to her by name in the movie? This feels like obscure John Hughes trivia to me…

6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

Got an hour? The Sherlockian way you dissected my story, the extremely helpful editorial comments, your refusal to let any cliché or hackneyed imagery pass, your palpable dedication to helping emerging writers, the fact that Hannah let me spell her name wrong for the first half of our correspondence and then gently corrected me, and then, just to make me feel better, sent me a cryptic email meant for someone else and then a long apology. You guys are like the Jack Russell Terriers of editors! But way smarter of course… And probably cuter. Oh and now I get to be in contact with a bunch of awesome writers!

So, umm, basically all of it is the best part.

To read Lina Branter‘s story in volume 3, click here.

6 Questions With Kacey Vanderkarr, Author of How To Fall

  1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your forthcoming story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

Ballet doesn’t leave Alyssa much time for friends, so the only possible “news” she’d be excited about is a ballet audition or a position in summer classes at ABA or Julliard. She’d love the opportunity to dance outside of her mother’s shadow, though her reaction would be mixed, half anticipatory of the opportunity, and half terrified that she’ll somehow screw it up, just as her mother expects her to.

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

Emma Watson embodies everything I see in Alyssa. She has the perfect dancer’s body and performs every role in a believable way.

 3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose

Cassandra Clare is my writing idol. I admire her writing style as well as how patiently she interacts with her fans. I’ve learned so much from reading her books. She never fails to inspire me.

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

I wouldn’t describe any of my habits as weird, but I do some of my best writing in public, when I’m distracted by strangers. I swear by notebook writing with a pen, especially when I’m stuck. There’s something organic about writing a scene the old-fashioned way. It takes longer to write, therefore, the words have more time to process before they make it to the page.

 5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

The Breakfast Club? I hate to be the one to point out that I was born the year this movie was released and I had to do some serious research to answer this question. First, I asked my husband whom he thought I was most like. He said Claire, because I’m the moral compass of the group. I asked my best friend, who responded that I’m most like John because I’m honest, but when it comes down to it, caring.

At this point, I was thoroughly frustrated, how was I to answer this question without watching the movie if my best friend and husband couldn’t agree on who I was most like?

So I sucked it up and watched, deciding that I think I’m most like Andrew. But in the end, does it really matter who I am? You see me as you want to see me.

 6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

Knowing that there’s a place where my voice counts and is heard. The writing world, and the internet in general, is such a cutthroat business. In Sucker, I’ve found people I can trust and talk to, people who like young adult literature and want to embrace the fledgling quality of this market and not just block it off to newcomers. As and editor, Hannah is fantastic. She takes the time to work with everyone, no matter what they are contributing to the magazine. It’s not always easy, but I know that Hannah cares about what we do, and where the magazine is going. It’s a very safe and supportive place to be.

To read Kacey Vanderkarr‘s story in volume 3, click here.

6 Questions With Shelli Cornelison, Author of Halfway From

1.    You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your forthcoming story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

SC:       Me: “My Mom knows you aren’t living at home anymore. I don’t know how she found out but I lied and told her you were living with your Aunt Kate. If she knew you were living with Luke, she’d never let me hang out with you again, but if you see her, just go with the Aunt Kate story, okay?”

Dawn: “So your mom’s cool with us hanging out as long as I live with my non-functioning alcoholic mother or in my aunt’s halfway house with a crack-head and a PTSD time bomb? Your mom should write a parenting book. Clearly she’s got that shit nailed.”

2.    We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

SC:       Dawn would want Zoey Deutch to play her in the film. It would piss her off if someone with blue eyes got the part because her eyes are brown. Zoey’s eyes are the right shade of brown, too. That’s the kind of detail that people think doesn’t matter, but it does.

3.    If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

SC:       David Levithan. I love his writing and I’ve heard him speak a few times. I especially loved hearing him talk about the process of co-writing with Rachel Cohn.  If you ever get the chance to hear him talk about censorship, you should show up for it. I got to hear him speak on the topic in a church sanctuary in Austin, Texas. You had to be there—and I’m so glad I was.

4.  Describe your weirdest writing habit.

SC:       I might be more productive if I had actual habits. I think my habits vary from project to project, or maybe they just have expiration dates. For a while I relied heavily on Twizzlers. I do have to write novel manuscripts in submission format. I can’t crank out a single-spaced draft and then go back in with the double-spacing and the chapter breaks, etc.  I also use chapter titles and sometimes I can’t come up with the right one immediately so I type: Insert Clever Chapter Title Here.  That might read like conceit to everyone else, but I read it as a challenge.  And sometimes I withhold things, like showers, from myself until I hit my daily word count goal. Okay, so maybe my habit is playing mind games with myself. Writing can be lonely. Don’t judge.

5.    Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

SC:       I was a less ostentatious Claire. I didn’t have her wealth or her wardrobe but I shared her insecurities and a bit of her snotty attitude from time to time. (But for the record, I would’ve given John Bender that earring, and that kiss, so much sooner.) And maybe I was a little bit of John, too, when it came to mouthing off my unfounded opinions. And a little bit of Brian when it came to caring about schoolwork. In the end, weren’t we all a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal? Sorry, I can’t answer the last question because I have to go watch The Breakfast Club for the eighteen-bazillionth time now.

6.    What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

SC:       I love watching it grow. It’s such a labor of love and everyone involved, from the staff to the writers, is so supportive and talented.

To read Shelli Cornelison story in volume 3, click here.

6 Questions With Charity Tahmaseb, Author of Just A Matter Of Time

  1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your forthcoming story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

    I have the schedule for her father’s return deployment and she is speechless.
  2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?Hailee Steinfeld. She has the perfect look for Sadie.
  3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

    I come from the perspective of having written a novel with another writer, and I know this is no easy thing. But, what I wouldn’t give to sit at the feet of Judy Blume or Jane Yolen. Also, since The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger are two of my favorite books, I wouldn’t turn down the chance to work with Markus Zusak.
  4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.I must have short fingernails. If they get too long, my fingers are all: no, sorry, we’re not typing today.
  5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?Brian Johnson, the Anthony Michael Hall character. I was totally obsessed with my grades, and I would be the one writing the essay at the end. This explains why, now, I’m the homework drill sergeant with my kids.
  6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?I love the enthusiasm for short YA fiction. I love short fiction. I love YA fiction. The two together? There’s so much you can do with the form. I’m hoping to read more and more of it in the future.

    To read  Charity Tahmaseb‘s story in volume 3, click here.

6 Questions With Lilliam Rivera, Author of The Hate

 1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your forthcoming story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

This is easy. The call would go something like this:

Me: Where you’ve been hiding? I’ve been looking all over for you. Is your Mom feeling better?

Sarah doesn’t respond.

Me: They’re giving away the anti-H8TE shot. Free. I’m serious. Free! It’s all on the hush. Underground. You’ve got to get in on it. It’s your only protection from the virus.

Sarah doesn’t respond.

Me: Are you listening to me? This is your only chance.

Sarah: It’s too late.

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

The lead character would be play by this up and coming New York actress Yainis Ynoa. She starred in this amazing independent film Babygirl, and she can play both tough and tragic.

3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of your choice, who would you choose?

My choice would be Matt de la Peña, author of Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You, and his latest The Living. I recently interviewed Matt for The Rumpus.net and I feel we have the same sensibilities. He writes compelling male characters that usually hail from California. He has a great sense of dialogue. Although my young adult characters usually are from the east coast, I feel they are coming from the same world.

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

There was a time when I would write only on the hour. If a minute went by, I would not start until the next hour but that was just me procrastinating. I don’t have any weird habits except to sit in my chair everyday for two hours and write. No matter what. Even if I only end up writing one sentence.

5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club best describes you in high school?

This was my high school uniform: black shirt, black jeans, and heavy black eyeliner with my bangs covering my eyes. I was definitely “The Basket Case” played by Ally Sheedy. I wasn’t as much of an outcast as she was. I could blend in with most of the different cliques but I definitely looked like her

6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

The great part is working together with other young adult writers. Everyone is working to do his or her part. We are all lovers of the genre and it shows.

To read Lilliam Rivera‘s story in volume 3, click here.

6 Questions With Hannah R. Goodman, Author of A Different Kind Of Cute

1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

ME: Slatch is dead, Charlotte. He died of shock.

CHARLOTTE: Oh, shit. . . .this is probably my fault.

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

The girl from Awkward (the heavier one)

 3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

Stephen Chbosky

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

I need noise to compose (coffee shop type) and silence to edit. Maybe that’s not really weird??

5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

A cross between the nerd and the outcast. But sometimes I could be the Molly Ringwald character.

6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

My amazing staff and writers.

To read Hannah’s story in volume 3, click here.

6 Questions With Claudia Classon, Author of Valentine’s Day

1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

(texting) (post-story)

Me:  JJ WHERE R U!!!!

JJ:  Lvg math.  WTF, LC?

Me: HE is waiting at your locker

JJ:  ?

Me:  LDV

JJ:  I’m over Lans LC. Moving on. He’s probably returning my Scarlet Letter.

Me:  Eye roll

Me:   Hurry UP

Me:  B4 queen bitch shows up

JJ:  Chill! Coming.

Me:  Put on some lip gloss first.

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

Hmm…this is a hard one.  I think Abigail Breslin would be a great JJ.  She knows how to play straight/serious in a comic situation and would probably express JJ’s awkwardness with guys sucessfully.

 3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

I would love to work with Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall  is a favorite book) because she is so passionate about her characters and I admire her writing.  However…I don’t know if we would still be on speaking terms by the end of the first week.  Come to think of it, that might be more of a power struggle than a collaboration…could I co-author with Neil Gaiman?  Please?  I promise not to stare.

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

Is any writing habit truly considered weird to other writers?  Aren’t we all eccentrics by definition?  I wish I could say that I dictate scenes to my iPhone while doing headstands, but I don’t.  Can I make something up?  I grind my teeth…well, these days I grind my Invisalign braces.

 5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

Excuse me while I Google the movie for a moment…okay, without watching it again (and I’m not going to tell you how OLD I was when it came out in 1985), probably the Molly Ringwald character.  There’s not much of a choice here for girls—the virgin princess or the basket case?  I was really more of a dramarama-nerd. I refused to wear blue jeans and sashayed around in a patchwork maxi-skirt that I made myself.  I was consumed by musical theatre and Tolkien those days…

6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

Ah, this one I can answer easily.  Working with Hannah as an editor has been delightful.  I’m very grateful for her excellent critique, her advice, and her energy.

To read Claudia’s story in volume 3, click here.